Extra Credit: 3 More Features, 0 Extra Costs with Polymer Wheels

Posted 15 February, 2022 — HVAC Trends

When it comes to your HVAC system’s energy recovery wheel, you may not be thinking about all the features and benefits. After all, it’s tucked away and not something you take notice of every day – until you do.


Energy recovery wheels are the workhorse of your energy recovery ventilation system. And with many facility managers responsible for increasing ventilation in the age of the pandemic, those wheels are

working harder than ever. So, with that in mind you’re inevitably going to need to maintain them to ensure performance doesn’t dip.

Polymer wheels offer an array of benefits, but we’re going to focus on three that separate them from their metal counterparts – but don’t cost you more money.


Washable wheels are the real deal.

No matter the filtration in your HVAC system, energy recovery wheels are going to get dirty. That’s inevitable.



A polymer wheel is easy to remove and is truly washable. What’s that mean? It means you can take out one segment at a time, wash it with a simple degreaser (dish soap, for instance), let it dry, and replace it.

Being able to wash the wheel means you can remove any dirt or grime that’s impeding air flow. That results in a wheel that performs consistently and efficiently.


Replace a piece. Not the entire wheel.

Here’s the thing: Wheels are damaged from time to time. Generally, when the media is damaged it’s from a piece of debris hitting it.

A polymer wheel “bounces back” in many instances because unlike metal, the surface is somewhat malleable. But if the damage is significant, the good news is you don’t have to replace the entire wheel.

Because polymer wheels are segmented, all you have to do is take out that piece of the “pie” and order a replacement from Airxchange®.

You may be thinking, “so what if it’s dented a little bit?” Well, dented wheels see decreased performance, meaning they’re less efficient. That costs you in energy consumption.


No desiccant degradation.

Desiccant is a substance that attracts moisture – and in this case it’s the magic material that recovers energy from conditioned or heated air.

On metal energy recovery wheels, the desiccant is applied to the surface. Over time, that desiccant degrades from use. As it wears off, the wheel becomes less effective. Think about it like needing to reseal your deck every few years.

With a polymer wheel, the desiccant is manufactured into the polymer media. Because it’s part of the media – rather than applied onto the surface – it won’t degrade. The result is you don’t see a dip in performance.



The key takeaway is this: you don’t have to pay extra to get these benefits. A polymer energy recovery wheel doesn’t cost more than metal and has more features that make it easier to manage and maintain your energy recovery ventilation system.

If you want to learn more or talk to one of our application engineers, send us an email or give us a call.